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Research reveals jeans are longest serving wardrobe item

8th October 2009 Print
Almost two million Brits have a pair of jeans that date back over 40 years to the 1960s, according to new research by Lakeside Shopping Centre in Essex. The poll quizzed 1,044 UK adults to discover just how long jeans tend to linger in our wardrobes.

The results also revealed that the average pair of jeans in the UK is six years old with women, on average, hanging on to them slightly longer than men.

So why do we hang on to jeans for so long? Almost half of those quizzed (48%) believe they never go out of fashion, so don’t throw them out. Women are more likely to keep hold of old jeans in the hope of slimming back in to them (30% of women vs 12% of men) while men tend to keep them to wear while doing DIY (46%). Almost one in twelve Brits keep jeans for sentimental reasons.

The research also found that:

- Brits have a combined total of over £7 billion worth of jeans in their wardrobes
¬- The average Brits owns five different pairs, each worth an average of £29
- One in five Brits (22%) own between 6-10 pairs of jeans, while one in twenty (5%) have more than ten pairs to their name
- As in the 50s, when they first became fashionable, jeans are most popular now amongst 16-24 year olds, with this age group owning the most pairs
- Jeans are equally popular amongst men and women.

Lakeside’s Personal Shopper, Angela Poplett, says, “The figures show just how long jeans have been a vital part of our wardrobe here in the UK. Even though they’re worn by people of all ages, they’re very much in fashion, which is why younger people tend to have more pairs. While I agree that jeans have a unique enduring quality, shapes, styles and colours do move with the times, so for anyone who wants to look fashionable, I would definitely recommend updating them more than once every 40 years!”

Things you might not know about jeans:

- The blue jeans we know and love today were first invented in 1873 by Jacob David and Levi Strauss
- When they were first invented, jeans were actually known as “waist overalls”
- Jeans were originally designed as utility trousers for naval workers and, later, miners
- Jeans became popular with American teenagers in the 50s, after James Dean wore them in the movie Rebel Without a Cause. They became a mass market fashion item in the 70s
- May 20th is the official birthday of blue jeans
- An original pair of Levi Strauss and Co 501 Jeans aged over 115 years old were sold by Randy Knight (USA) to anonymous Japanese collector in 2005 for £33,230 ($60,000)